Exclusive – Donovan Mitchell Says Loss To Australia “Doesn’t Count”

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Exclusive – Donovan Mitchell Says Loss To Australia “Doesn’t Count”

 

The basketball world was turned on its head on Saturday night as the Australian National Team defeated Team USA in historic fashion on home soil. The “Boomers” had never beaten the United States at senior men’s basketball level in their history, but that all changed as San Antonio Spurs’ guard Patty Mills led the way for the green and gold with 30 points in the win. 

The victory in front of 52,000 inside Marvel stadium in Melbourne, Australia saw the end of a 78-game unbeaten streak held by Team USA. It’s safe to say they aren’t used to losing very often at international level, and it showed, as various members of the roster and coaching staff had mixed reactions to the shock loss. 

Head Coach Gregg Popovich claimed his team are better now after the defeat than before the game because of the learning experience which was echoed by team leader Kemba Walker, but Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell had a more relaxed and peculiar response when asked by Open Court what the defeat meant for them moving forward. 

 

“Yeah for sure. First of all I want to give credit to the Australian team they played a great game, but for us we learn from this that’s really all it is and at the end of the day for us we can learn a lot things from this that we can fix. We can learn a lot from this, but at the end of the day this game doesn’t count.”

 

 

Mitchell’s response may send off some alarm bells throughout the National Team setup as the wider community believe this is one of the weakest teams ever assembled by Team USA in recent memory, and heading into a major tournament the roster lacks both continuity and chemistry, causing them to look as vulnerable as ever with a gold medal on the line. 

Thankfully, team leader and veteran guard also echoed the sentiment of learning from this experience, as the Boston Celtics point scorer emphasized learning and moving forward when discussing the loss with OpenCourt-Basketball. 

 

“That’s really all you can do, you know you take it, you learn from it. All the credit in the world to those guys (Boomers) they played extremely well and that’s what we expected, we expected those guys to come out and give everything they’ve got and that’s what they did. Much respect to them, but we got to do what we gottah do, watch film and continue to get better and that’s all we can do.”

 

 

Luckily, Team USA have one last chance to right their wrongs before the FIBA World Cup in China starts on August 31st, as they take on familiar foes Canada in Sydney in their last warm up outing. They are currently facing the very real disadvantage of trying to quickly build chemistry against teams that have been together for multiple years in a row. They have the talent, but whether they can come together for a common goal remains to be seen.

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